My DIY caves in progress... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-22-2006, 07:07 AM Thread Starter
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Talking My DIY caves in progress...

Here are some caves I made tonight out of PVC piping, epoxy and soilmaster:
Before:

After:

One for a shrimp tank and one for my 49 gallon planted - both in the making

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-22-2006, 03:29 PM
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Looks good! Please post a picture once you have them integrated in your tank(s). Did that small epoxy applicator provide enough glue for the entire piece?


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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-22-2006, 04:16 PM
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Looks real good I like it allot. I do have a couple questions though.
How did you apply the epoxy on the PVC?
Over time with water chemistry break down the soilmaster and epoxy on the PVC?
About how long did it take to to have a finished product?
Was there a long wait on adding the soilmaster to the PVC and epoxy?
Sorry about all the questions but I am really interested in the project.
I would also like to see a picture when in place.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-22-2006, 04:18 PM
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Nice idea, but I though I read somewhere that black PVC piping is not aquarium safe, since it's made from different material than the normal white PVC piping you can easily get.


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-22-2006, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazie.eddie View Post
Nice idea, but I though I read somewhere that black PVC piping is not aquarium safe, since it's made from different material than the normal white PVC piping you can easily get.
Really? That's not good! The only reason I used the black was that it had wider diameters and nice curves. After I read your post I looked up a couple of projects that other people had done with black PVC. They didn't mention any ill effects so hopefully that's not the case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by conduct View Post
Looks real good I like it allot. I do have a couple questions though.
How did you apply the epoxy on the PVC?
Over time with water chemistry break down the soilmaster and epoxy on the PVC?
About how long did it take to to have a finished product?
Was there a long wait on adding the soilmaster to the PVC and epoxy?
Sorry about all the questions but I am really interested in the project.
I would also like to see a picture when in place.
We used a popsicle stick to spread the epoxy over the piping and then sprinkled the substrate onto it.
Eventually the soilmaster will probably become unattached or worn down, but I imagine it will take a very long time for that to happen. I also put a thin layer of aquarium silicone to help secure the soilmaster in place.
There was no wait on adding the soilmaster to the PVC and epoxy. You just mix the epoxy, put it directly on the pipe and then soil away
I'll definitely put a picture when it's all done and ready!

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Originally Posted by Wasserpest View Post
Looks good! Please post a picture once you have them integrated in your tank(s). Did that small epoxy applicator provide enough glue for the entire piece?
The small epoxy applicator wasn't enough for all that piping. We needed more than one applicator. Then I put a thin layer of silicone after it had dried a little bit for good measure.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-22-2006, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leonpetty View Post
Really? That's not good! The only reason I used the black was that it had wider diameters and nice curves. After I read your post I looked up a couple of projects that other people had done with black PVC. They didn't mention any ill effects so hopefully that's not the case.
I don't think this is the case. Black drain pipe is ABS plastic. ABS is used in several products used in the aquarium. The main example is the HOB filters so many of us still employ.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-22-2006, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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I don't think this is the case. Black drain pipe is ABS plastic. ABS is used in several products used in the aquarium. The main example is the HOB filters so many of us still employ.
Good to hear that!

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-28-2006, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Put the caves in, but no water yet - I'll post some pictures soon

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-13-2006, 04:25 AM Thread Starter
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I've gotten it set up, but I got a bad case of GW. I hear it's common for new tanks and I've put it through a four day black out so we'll see Will be doing a water change tonight now that I'm done with the four days and I'll post some pictures.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-13-2006, 02:18 PM
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Leon, you are such a tease! Pictures NOW!

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It looks really great, but my fish is pointing his butt at the camera so I'll have to get a picture in another few weeks. Then I promise I'll post some pictures.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-13-2006, 02:46 PM
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LMAO ! Mori's comment... LOL!

I can't wait to see the results... I have Plenty of Soilmaster & a few PVC pipes... just wanna see how it will look.. I think I would just use the Silicone on the PVC & roll it in the Soilmaster though... What about doing the inside... Just so you can't see the PVC? Do-able?

Mayeb I'll try it this weekend, if I get some extra time... & I WILL post pics ;-)

Steve X.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 03:10 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mori View Post
Leon, you are such a tease! Pictures NOW!

Leon's next post:

It looks really great, but my fish is pointing his butt at the camera so I'll have to get a picture in another few weeks. Then I promise I'll post some pictures.
LOL! Sorry guys Here are a few pics!




Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquamanx View Post
LMAO ! Mori's comment... LOL!

I can't wait to see the results... I have Plenty of Soilmaster & a few PVC pipes... just wanna see how it will look.. I think I would just use the Silicone on the PVC & roll it in the Soilmaster though... What about doing the inside... Just so you can't see the PVC? Do-able?

Mayeb I'll try it this weekend, if I get some extra time... & I WILL post pics ;-)

Steve X.
Good call on putting substrate on the inside. Definitely do-able I'm not sure if I like that mine's black on the inside, but for the most part I'm happy with it and my corys love it

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 03:13 AM Thread Starter
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Forgot to mention that the color is only different because the cave is dry.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 12:16 PM
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Still haven't tried this yet, I've been so Damn buzy... My Kidz B-day party is this weekend, & My Band is playing out Saturday night also... So, Looks like I won't be doing ANY kind of fish related stuff this weekend....
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-20-2006, 02:50 PM
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What type of epoxy did you use, and how did you know it would be non toxic? Could aquarium silicone be used for the whole job? Would it bind to the pipe and hold the SS granules in place as well as an epoxy?

I also wonder, with the length that you made that cave, if you will ever have to worry about if fouling up inside. If wasted products drift about the substrate and eventually find their way inside your cave, would they get trapped toward the back and eventually build up to toxic levels? I guess you could siphon it from time to time with a flixible piece of tubing but if you ever had breeding fish, eggs, or fry in there it might prove to be difficult. Has anyone experienced this problem? Do you think it would even be a problem?

I like this idea very much and might just have to try out a few for my ABN's and future dwarf cichlids.

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